The 50 year-old from Shandong is another business leader lucky to be of university age just as the Cultural Revolution ended. He later became an oil equipment engineer in the Ministry of Geology and Resources.
At 19, Huang was told by his professor that oil would run out in 50 years. This thought never left him, and he began to spend his evenings designing solar-powered water heaters. He gave some as gifts to family and friends. A factory director liked the design and made Huang realise his hobby could be commercialised. In 1995 he quit his government job to set up Himin Solar.
Need to know
Himin is now China’s biggest maker of solar-powered water heaters, producing one million per year. Huang has made his home city, Dezhou (population 5.6 million) a ‘solar capital’. Three-quarters of its homes use his product. The company’s headquarters (Sun-Moon Mansion) is also said to be the largest building in the world to use solar power as its main energy source. You can even get round the HQ on solar powered golf carts.
Himin plans to list on the A-share market next year.
Most memorable lunch
Last October he dined with Angela Merkel, Germany’s leader.
In his own words
“We want to be like Henry Ford was to the automobile industry.”
And to relax
Football. He is the oldest player in the Dezhou league. The very goal-oriented Huang plays striker.
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